Nathan Dunnett’s dream of working overseas as an electrical and instrumentation control technician became a reality recently when the Gladstone man was awarded a Construction Skills Queensland sponsored scholarship.

Nathan was presented with one of four Queensland Overseas Foundation (QOF) Awards which assists high achieving 18-30-year-old trainees, apprentices and vocational education and training graduates to travel and work overseas in their chosen vocation for up to two years.

Nathan, a Maintenance Technician at Rio Tinto in Gladstone, impressed the QOF selection panel with his keen interest in renewable energy, particularly solar power, and his desire to develop his career abroad.

The QOF scholarship is not the first recognition of Nathan’s outstanding skills. As an apprentice, Nathan competed in WorldSkills winning silver medals at regional competitions in 2015 and 2017, qualifying for the Australian national competitions in 2016 and 2018 in the electrical control category and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, which recognises high achieving undergraduate and graduate students.

Nathan spoke highly of the support provided by CSQ saying it gives young people the opportunity to excel in their chosen trade. “CSQ is a major supporter of initiatives like QOF and WorldSkills which enables hundreds of apprentices, trainees and graduates to showcase their skills,” he said.

The QOF Scholarship Program funds travel related expenses and a settling in allowance, worth up to $7,500, for young and skilled Queenslanders to head overseas to key international markets which exhibit strong career prospects in their chosen industry field.

Nathan, who completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology – Electrician in 2018, a Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control with Central Queensland University and holds an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering, said trading the classroom for an outdoors office was an easy choice.

 The QOF Awards are unique in Queensland and enable exceptional vocational education and training personnel to travel overseas and test their abilities against the best in the world. CSQ is a proud sponsor of one of four award categories.

Nathan is in the early stages of planning for his overseas experience and is looking at job opportunities in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany or France.